More than two million people have already fled the crisis , and neighboring countries are increasingly overburdened by the influx of migrants. Together they now want to look for a solution. The government in Caracas skims the meeting.
Quito (AP) – In view of the rapidly increasing number of Venezuelan refugees, representatives of several Latin American countries have discussed joint measures.
“We need the crisis to visualize and guide the financial support in all the right ways,” said the acting Foreign Minister of Ecuador , Andres Teran , on Monday at the start of the two-day meeting of representatives from a dozen states in Quito .
The once rich Venezuela is in a deep economic crisis. For the current year, the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) expects an inflation rate of one million percent. In addition, Venezuelan economic output could fall by 18 percent. For lack of foreign exchange, the world’s most oil-rich country in the world can barely import any food, medicines or everyday necessities.
According to the United Nations , at least 2.3 million people have already left the country. The Venezuelan opposition even estimates as many as four million refugees. That would be over ten percent of the total population. Often the migrants walk hundreds of miles to their feet, sleep in the open air and do not have enough to eat and drink on their way.
The neighboring country of Colombia alone has already received more than 935,000 Venezuelans. “We are not in a position to cope with this migration alone,” said Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo on radio station RCN.
The government in Bogotá has asked to appoint a UN Special Envoy and set up an international relief fund. On Wednesday, the Organization of American States (OAS) also advises on the refugee crisis in the region.
The Venezuelan government did not attend the meeting in Quito . Information Minister Jorge Rodríguez said in Caracas that his emigrant compatriots were often discriminated abroad: “They put them in camps and take photos of them for the files.”
His sister and Vice President Delcy Rodríguez said: “The alleged humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is just an invention to justify an intervention.”